Posts Tagged ‘city life

16
Feb
12

Exhibition: ‘The Prints of Martin Lewis: From the Collection of Dr. Dorrance Kelly’ at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT

Exhibition dates: 2nd October 2011 – 26th February 2012

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962) 'Glow of the City' 1929

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Glow of the City
1929 
Drypoint, 11 ¼ x 14 ¼ in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

 

One of the great pleasures of presenting this blog is introducing myself and my readers to forgotten artists. Here we have a dazzling Australian artist who died largely forgotten, especially, it seems, in his native country. He does not deserve this fate!

.
How many works does the National Gallery of Australia hold in its collection?

6

Count them … 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

(and none displayed online)

.
AGNSW 5, NGV 0

(and none displayed online)

.
Tell me, is there something wrong with this picture?

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Bruce Museum for allowing me to publish the images in the posting. Please click on the images for a larger version.

 

 

Martin Lewis (1881-1962) was born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia on June 7, 1881. He was the second of eight children and had a passion for drawing. At the age of 15, he left home and traveled in New South Wales, Australia, and in New Zealand, working as a pothole digger and a merchant seaman. He returned to Sydney and settled into a Bohemian community outside Sydney. Two of his drawings were published in the radical Sydney newspaper, The Bulletin. He studied with Julian Ashton at the Art Society’s School in Sydney. Ashton, a famous painter, was also one of the first Australian artists to take up printmaking.

In 1900, Lewis left Australia for the United States. His first job was in San Francisco, painting stage decorations for William McKinley’s presidential campaign of 1900. By 1909, Lewis was living in New York, where he found work in commercial illustration. His earliest known etching is dated 1915. However, the level of skill in this piece suggests he had been working in the medium for some time previously. It was during this period that he helped Edward Hopper learn the basics of etching. In 1920, after the break up of a romance, Lewis traveled to Japan, where for two years he drew and painted and studied Japanese art. The influence of Japanese prints is very evident in Lewis’s prints after that period. In 1925, he returned to etching and produced most of his well-known works between 1925 and 1935 Lewis’s first solo exhibition in 1929 was successful enough for him to give up commercial work and concentrate entirely on printmaking. Lewis is most famous for his black and white prints, mostly of night scenes of non tourist, real life street scenes of New York City. During the Depression, however, he was forced to leave the city for four years between 1932 and 1936 and move to Connecticut. When Lewis was able to return to the New York City in 1936, there was no longer a market interested in his work. He died largely forgotten.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Late Traveler' 1949

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Late Traveler
1949 
Drypoint, 9 7/8 x 11 7/8 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Fifth Ave Bridge' 1928

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Fifth Ave Bridge
1928
Drypoint , 9 7/8 x 12 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Grandpa Takes a Walk' 1935

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Grandpa Takes a Walk
1935 
Drypoint and sand ground, 8 7/8 x 11 ¾ in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Quarter of Nine, Saturday's Children' 1929

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Quarter of Nine, Saturday’s Children
1929 
Drypoint, 9 7/8 x 12 7/8 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Shadow Dance' 1930

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Shadow Dance
1930 
Drypoint and sandpaper ground, 9 ½ x 10 7/8 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

 

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, presents the new exhibition The Prints of Martin Lewis: From the Collection of Dr. Dorrance Kelly from October 2, 2011, through February 19, 2012. Recognised as one of the premier American printmakers of the first half of the 20th-century, Martin Lewis (1881-1962) left an indelible mark on the landscape of the art world. Although not as publicly well known as some of his contemporaries such as Edward Hopper, Lewis was a highly skilled printer who was greatly involved in the artistic scene of New York City during the 1920s and ’30s. This exhibition features more than thirty etchings and several canceled plates by the artist from the private collection of Dr. Dorrance Kelly of West Redding, Connecticut.

The exhibition The Prints of Martin Lewis: From the Collection of Dr. Dorrance Kelly provides a brief biographical account of Lewis and showcases some of the artist’s best technical prints. Lewis was an acknowledged master of the intaglio techniques of printmaking, experimenting with multiple processes including etching, aquatint, engraving, mezzotint, and dry point.

In 1915 he produced his first documented etching, Smoke Pillar, Weehawken. Images like this one documented the scenes of everyday life as they played out in the thriving metropolis around New York City. Lewis portrayed all aspects of city life including dockworkers, skyscrapers, tugboats, and pedestrians – mostly the ladies. He produced magnificent prints that captured the energy, bustle, and occasional solitude of New York. With his move to Connecticut in 1932, Lewis investigated another topic through his printmaking: country life. This firmly entrenched Lewis as a prominent American scene artist, as his prints captured the intersection between the urban and rural environments and shed light on the slowly emerging suburban culture.

Press release from the Bruce Museum website

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Windy Day' 1932

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Windy Day
1932 
Drypoint, 9 7/8 x 12 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Politics' 1936

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Politics
1936 
Drypoint and sand ground, 9 ¾ x 10 5/8 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Little Penthouse' 1931

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Little Penthouse
1931 
Drypoint, 9 7/8 x 6 ¾ in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Bay Windows' 1929

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Bay Windows
1929 
Drypoint and sandpaper ground, 11 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Chance Meeting' 1940-41

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Chance Meeting
1940-41 
Drypoint, 10 ½ x 7 ½ in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Relics (Speakeasy Corner)' 1928

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Relics (Speakeasy Corner)
1928 
Drypoint, 11 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962). 'Snow on the "El"' 1931

 

Martin Lewis (Australian, 1881-1962)
Snow on the “El”
1931 
Drypoint and sand ground, 14 x 9 in.
Collection of Dr. Dorrance T. Kelly
© Estate of Martin Lewis

 

 

Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT
Phone: 203.869.0376

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 1pm – 5pm
Closed Mondays

Bruce Museum website

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21
Jul
10

Exhibition: ‘Candid Camera: Australian Photography 1950s – 1970s’ at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Exhibition dates: 28th May – 1st August 2010

 

Robert McFarlane (Australia, b. 1942) 'Charles Perkins going home from University' c. 1963

 

Robert McFarlane (Australia, b. 1942)
Charles Perkins going home from University
c. 1963, Sydney
Pigment print on paper
23.0 x 15.0 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2009
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Robert McFarlane, Courtesy of Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney

 

 

There are some great photographs below, including one of my favourite photographs by an Australian artist of all time – At Newport (1952) by Max Dupain. There is something about this photograph that makes it even more iconic than Sunbaker (1934). Perhaps it is the modernist rendering of space, the tensional placement of the figures: the curve of the boys back, the slope of the young man’s torso and attendant shadow on the wall, the girl at bottom right caught looking at the poised figure about to dive in – coupled with the receding pylons floating into the distance and the dark cliff face at right.

To have the previsualisation in the mind’s eye, that understanding of what was about to happen placed before the camera and then to capture it takes a truly great photographer. Being a naturalised Australian this is, to me, is one of the most iconic of all Australian photographs. What a beautiful photograph.

Marcus

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Many thankx to Miranda Young and the Art Gallery of South Australia for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Rennie Ellis (Australia, 1940-2003) 'Auntie Mame, Kings Cross' 1970-71

 

Rennie Ellis (Australia, 1940-2003)
Auntie Mame, Kings Cross
1970-71, Sydney
Gelatin silver photograph
37.0 x 24.0 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2009
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

 

Jeff Carter (Australia, 1928-2010) 'Tobacco Road' 1956

 

Jeff Carter (Australia, 1928-2010)
Tobacco Road
1956, Ovens Valley, Victoria
Gelatin silver photograph
28.8 x 27.1 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2003
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Jeff Carter

 

 

“Candid moments of Australian life from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, captured by some of Australia’s most renowned photographers, go on display in Candid Camera – a fascinating new photographic exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Curated by Julie Robinson, the Art Gallery’s Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, Candid Camera: Australian Photography 1950s – 1970s includes more than 80 documentary images by photographers including Max Dupain, David Moore, Jeff Carter, Robert McFarlane, Mervyn Bishop, Rennie Ellis, Carol Jerrems and Roger Scott.

These photographers have been great observers, capturing memorable images in Australia and abroad of people at leisure or engaged in everyday activities – images which appear unposed, spontaneous, or with their subjects captured unaware.

The photographs on display encompass social rituals, beach culture, protest movements, Indigenous issues, migration, youth subcultures, work, leisure, music, people, travel and humour. They range from images of the famous – such as Prime Ministers, boxing champion Lionel Rose, musicians Bon Scott and Daddy Cool – to those of ordinary people.

Says Julie Robinson, “The photographs in Candid Camera epitomise life during the 50s, 60s and 70s and resonate with spontaneity, humour and humanity.”

Robinson explains, “Even the anonymous people seem familiar to us as a result of these photographs, like David Moore’s European migrants arriving in Sydney, Rennie Ellis’s Cosmetics salesgirl, Toorak Rd, the two youths exiting ghost train ride in Roger Scott’s photograph or the unidentified women waiting at an Adelaide bus stop, in Robert McFarlane’s photograph.”

Many of these photographs have only been recently acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia and this exhibition will provide the first opportunity for audiences to view them displayed together.”

Press release from the Art Gallery of South Australia website [Online] Cited 20/10/2010 no longer available online

 

Jeff Carter (Australia, 1928-2010) 'Saturday arvo, Chippendale' 1960

 

Jeff Carter (Australia, 1928-2010)
Saturday arvo, Chippendale
1960, Chippendale, New South Wales
Gelatin silver photograph
30.5 x 36.1 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2003
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Jeff Carter

 

Max Dupain (Australia, 1911-1992) 'At Newport' 1952

 

Max Dupain (Australia, 1911-1992)
At Newport
1952, Sydney
Gelatin silver photograph
31.5 x 34.0 cm (image)
D’Auvergne Boxall Bequest Fund 2009
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

 

Rennie Ellis (Australia, 1940-2003) 'Cosmetics salesgirl, Toorak Road' c. 1970

 

Rennie Ellis (Australia, 1940-2003)
Cosmetics salesgirl, Toorak Road
c. 1970, Melbourne
Gelatin silver photograph
29.0 x 43.5 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2009
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

 

Rennie Ellis (Australia, 1940-2003) 'Union Jack, Lorne' c. 1968

 

Rennie Ellis (Australia, 1940-2003)
Union Jack, Lorne
c. 1968, Victoria
Gelatin silver photograph
29.4 x 44.0 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2009
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

 

Roger Scott (Australia, born 1944) 'Ghost train' 1972

 

Roger Scott (Australia, born 1944)
Ghost train
1972, Sydney
Gelatin silver photograph
27.0 x 40.0 cm (image)
South Australian Government Grant 2009
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
© Roger Scott, Courtesy of Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney

 

 

Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 61 8 8207 7000

Opening hours:
Daily 10am – 5pm

Art Gallery of South Australia website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

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